Abida Parveen – Sings Bulleh Shah
Baba Bulleh Shah (1680 1757) whose real name was Abdullah Shah was a Punjabi Muslim Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher.
Early life and background.
Bulleh Shah is believed to have been born in 1680, in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan His ancestors had migrated from Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan.
When he was six months old, his parents relocated to Malakwal. There his father, Shah Muhammad Darwaish, was a preacher in the village mosque and a teacher. His father later got a job in Pandoke, about 50 miles southeast of Kasur. Bulleh Shah received his early schooling in Pandoke, and moved to Kasur for higher education. He also received education from Maulana Mohiyuddin. His spiritual teacher was the eminent Sufi saint, Shah Inayat Qadiri.
Little is known about Bulleh Shah’s direct ancestors, except that they were migrants from Uzbekistan. However, Bulleh Shah’s family was directly descended from the Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
Bulleh Shah practiced the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538 1599), Sultan Bahu (1629 1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640 1724).
Bulleh Shah lived in the same period as the famous Sindhi Sufi poet , Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai (1689 1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the legendary Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722 1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the famous Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahad (1739 1829), better known by his pen-name, Sachal Sarmast (truth seeking leader of the intoxicated ones). Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723 1810) of Agra.
The verse form Bulleh Shah primarily employed is called the Kafi, a style of Punjabi, Sindhi and Siraiki poetry used not only by the Sufis of Sindh and Punjab, but also by Sikh gurus.
Bulleh Shahs poetry and philosophy strongly criticizes Islamic religious orthodoxy of his day.
He died in 1757, and his tomb is located in Kasur, Pakistan.
Pakistani singer Abida Parveen , is one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music. Her forte is the kafi and the ghazal, though she has also ventured into traditional male territory and sung qawwalis. She is known for her particularly stunning voice, as well as her vivid musical imagination.
She has attained legendary status in the Indian Sub-Continent.
Abida was born in Larkana (Sindh province, Pakistan) in 1954. She received her musical training initially from her father, Ghulam Haider, and subsequently from Ustad Salamat Ali Khan. She embarked upon her professional career from Radio Pakistan, Hyderabad, in 1973.
Although she is associated most closely with the verses of the Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif, she has also sung the verses of other Sufi saints, including Amir Khusrau, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, and others such as Kabir and Waris Shah. In recent years, it has become fashionable to call Abida the true inheritor of the mantle of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a giant of Sufi music who died in 1997.
Abida is perhaps equally renowned as an accomplished Ghazal singer in Urdu and Sindhi, and an exponent of Punjabi, Urdu and Sindhi Sufiana Kalam, which literally translates as the ‘Sayings of the Sufis’, comprising the poems and aphorisms of the great Sufis of the Indian sub-Continent. Sufiana Kalam is also closely aligned to Sikh Punjabi devotional singing, otherwise known as the “Shabad Kirtan tradition”. It is always interesting to witness, in times of heightened communal tensions in the Indian Sub-Continent, Abida’s husky but equally delicate voice proclaiming a deeper bond of Universal Love that soars above the boundaries that divide religious and secular denominations. In this sense, her message can be compared to the likes of Kabir and Nanak, both of whom united Hindu and Muslim.
The mystical aspect of Abida’s musical message contains broad humanitarian appeal. Abida Parveen has been gifted with perhaps one of the very greatest female voices of recent times for the proclamation of arguably one of the most important messages of our time. Abida has received many prestigious music awards for her singing, and is often invited to music festivals in India and abroad. Widely and professionally regarded as the “Singers’ Singer” or the Artists’ Artist, it is not surprising that her admirers include some of the very best singers of the sub-continent.
Abida regularly tours the USA, Europe and the UK.